Unifor urges coalition to support refugees with Canadian jobs

TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - As Unifor prepares to sponsor five Syrian refugee families in Canada, it is urging a broad network of community groups, businesses and employers to support settlement with much-needed jobs.

"Unifor has been touched by the Syrian crisis but to offer real, meaningful support for settlement the entire country has a part to play," said Jerry Dias National President.  "To provide a future that goes beyond humanitarian relief, Unifor is encouraging employers to offer Canadian work experience and opportunities for jobs."

As Canada's largest private sector union, Unifor representatives are meeting with members of the business community and Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University this Friday, December 18 to discuss a joint initiative that will encourage employers to hire refugees.  "For sponsorship to be effective there is an urgent need for English and French language skills and Canadian work experience."

This meeting follows a training of 62 Unifor members who met with Lifeline Syria representatives to discuss their role and responsibility in sponsoring Syrian refugee families.

"Members were trained on how to build a supportive social network and how to assist with settlement," said Mohamad Alsadi, Unifor's Director of Human Rights and International Department.  "Unifor is providing finances, and our members have really stepped up to offer friendship and moral support; the next step in settlement is to secure employment."

As a partner and a sponsor, Dias is encouraging all unions, and employers to consider how to offer work experience and support Syrian refugees. "The next 12 months will be critical for action, and as a community we can make a valuable contribution to support new beginnings for refugees; this coalition of efforts must start today."

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers.  It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For further information: Denise Hammond, Unifor Communications National Representative at denise.hammond@unifor.org or (cell) 416-937-1126


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